Facebook quells charging rumors

Facebook's recent facelift to its interface sparked a viral rumor that the social network would begin charging for its services, Search Engine Watch reports.

According to the rumor, Facebook was planning on creating "gold," "silver" and "bronze" service packages, charging monthly rates of $9.99, $6.99 and $3.99, respectively.

When Facebook officials caught wind of the hoax, they were quick to quiet any concerns.

"A rumor on the internet caught our attention," said a representative. "We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It's free and always will be."

Rumors that Facebook will charge for its services has been sporadic since 2009. The International Business Times predicts that if the social network decided to charge its 800 million active users $10 per month to use the site, it would accumulate $96 billion in annual revenue.

Some users may have been coaxed into believing the charade because of Facebook's plethora of recently unveiled new features. These include a ticker that groups categories of friends together to allow for more detailed tracking, larger photographs in the news feed and concealed "poke" button. The highly anticipated "Timeline" will also become available in the near future.  

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